UPDATE: Alex Bugno was found guilty on all 15 counts Friday evening. He was taken into custody and his sentencing date will be set on Monday. He may face up to 50 years in prison and is now required to register as a tier 2 sex offender.
Assistant County Prosecutor Steve Yacovone said it’s been a long time coming and that justice was served in the courtroom.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s been another long day for jurors in the trial of Youngstown businessman Alex Bugno as they continue to deliberate the sex charges against him.
After a week of testimony, Mahoning County prosecutors told jurors Bugno preyed on his two teenage victims repeatedly over a course of several months in 2014.
“Every time it happened, it would be very similar. The defendant would ask him to disrobe, the defendant would take his own clothes off, the defendant would perform oral sex,” said Atty. Jennifer McLaughlin, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.
Bugno is facing more than a dozen counts including compelling prostitution and pandering obscenity for allegedly paying the victims to take part in sex acts with him, exploiting them with drugs and cash.
“They’re kids who would lower themselves to let the defendant perform oral sex on them for money. Getting a few hundred bucks is a big deal,” McLaughlin said.
But defense lawyers argue the pair made the whole thing up after one of the teenagers was thrown off Bugno’s towing company lot on the city’s south side.
“The evidence is gonna show every time these two kids spoke, the versions changed,” said Atty. Lynn Maro, Bugno’s lawyer.
Lawyers claim the victims’ stories were “riddled” with inconsistencies.
“This wasn’t a case where they start trickling out more and more information each time they talked, this is a case where they start wholly changing the facts,” Maro said.
Jurors started deliberating Friday afternoon.